Kontax was featured on the BBC this week! (Well done to the m4Lit team.) Steve Vosloo was interviewed by Gareth Mitchell on the World Service radio programme Digital Planet (listen live or download the mp3 of the interview).
During the programme one of the regular readers and commenters on Kontax, Sugar, was called. She made some very interesting comments about the story — in particular that she looks up words that she doesn’t understand in a dictionary (the printed version), which means that the story is improving her vocabulary. This is also what Sexyeyez — another reader and commenter — said in the interview on Bush Radio about why she liked the story (it improves her vocabulary).
After the interview, Gareth Mitchell asked his co-host Bill Thompson whether reading an m-novel is going to lead someone to actual books. Bill responded:
It might do, and even if it doesn’t it’s going to encourage them to read narrative fiction, to read stories. And I think given that so much information presented these days is in chunks, e.g. on social network sites or as emails, anything that gets young people reading longer forms is a good idea.
It’s well established within the world of children’s fiction, where there’s a genre called “high low” fiction (stories written for older children with younger reading age) — that these are very successful. So I think projects like this that engage with children do stand a good chance of working.
Kontax was also written about on the BBC website (Mobile novels switch on South Africa by Dave Lee). A great quote is given by Bernard Kedge, manager of Galloway and Porter, a Cambridge bookshop which sold its first book in 1902.
This is sometimes how education works. Anything that actually encourages people to read more is a really excellent idea.
Other recent coverage of Kontax includes:
- Steve Vosloo was interviewed on SAfm by Karabo Kgoleng (19 Oct)
- Nkululeko Mabandla was interviewed on Umhlobo Wenene fm by Nobathembu Kani (23 Oct)
- South Africa: Kontax launched (Pambazuka, 1 Oct)